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Your old PC's DVD drive might earn you $10

A class action settlement is compensating customers for optical drive price fixing.
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Gary Gardiner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The PC you had a decade ago might be a clunker in comparison to what you have now, but it might just make you a little extra money. In the wake of a class action settlement with major optical disc drive makers over price fixing, Americans can now claim $10 in compensation for every PC-capable DVD drive they bought between April 1st, 2003 and December 31st, 2008. That's whether or not the drive was built into your system, we'd add. You'll have to live in one of 23 states or Washington, DC, but you could have a payment on the way with just a few minutes' work. You have until July 1st, 2017 to make a claim.

Just be sure to dig out your receipt if you still have it. While there's no proof of purchase check when you make a claim, the settlement administration has the right to request evidence if it suspects something's up. In other words, the officiators will call out fraudsters who enter a huge number.

As with most such cases, lawyers will likely profit the most. Hitachi-LG, NEC, Panasonic and Sony collectively paid $124.5 million to settle the lawsuit, which alleged that they colluded to keep prices high. The low payout to customers is due to both the nature of the case (it's more about adjusting prices than refunds) and the millions of potential claimants -- you just weren't going to get a windfall. Still, it's hard to object too loudly if you weren't expecting this cash in the first place.

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